With over 1.2 million twitter followers and an outreach program serving over 120 countries to date, Save the Children knows their audience. So well, in fact, that their communications team formed a target audience at Vogue Knitting LIVE, held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago throughout this weekend, via invite-only Blogger’s Tea.
Save the Children paired with Vogue Knitting after three years of partnership in the United Kingdom to host Christmas Jumper Day, so that a similar fundraising idea could be executed in the United States. A secular organization based in Connecticut, Save the Children is a global non-profit which invests in childhood, striving to give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm in times of crisis and for our future.
On Saturday, Salon 3 on the third floor of the Vogue Knitting LIVE Marketplace served as the venue where Eileen Burke and Ana Rahona, representatives from Save the Children, hosted a round-table of both knitting- and parenting-focused bloggers to ask for support for their campaign. The hour was spent both networking and learning how Save the Children is campaigning this year to raise funds in the month of December. With over $.89 of every dollar donated going to their supported programs, donors can make the December event into a fun campaign and have the confidence their money is going straight to where it is needed most.
The call to action for the knitting bloggers involved garnering support via each blogger’s network to Make the World Better with a Sweater, with the officially-sponsored event running from November 12 to December 12. The campaign involves inviting people to join the Pins & Needles Challenge, with individual participants’ commitment being announced by November 12.
Participants will announce that they are taking the Save the Children’s Pins & Needles Challenge on November 12 via social media and any other public forum, and will have asked friends, colleagues, and family members to join in the commitment. Giving Tuesday, which falls on December 2 this year in the United States, is the target date for posting and pinning status updates on the Challenge, which involves making a sweater in honor of someone who each individual participant thinks makes the world a better place.
Then, on December 12, participants will pin and share photos of their finished sweater project for the official Make the World Better with a Sweater Day. Participants are encouraged to wear their sweater, holiday sweater, or any commemorative sweater for the event on this day, and to donate $5 to Save the Children. School-aged participants are asked to donate $2 to the campaign.
While this task may sound like a daunting challenge to some, the challenge does not need to involve knitting a full-sized adult sweater for participation. Vogue Knitting LIVE has supplied two free patterns, one being a smartphone sweater and the other being a miniature-sweater garland, but participants can join in by making any sweater they wish to knit. The bloggers received a welcome package which included an Ugly Sweater Starter Kit, or a cluster of six holiday-themed patches to attach to an already-existing sweater.
The Pins & Needles Challenge also does not have to be Christmas-themed; Save the Children embraces all holidays and commemorations and supports all faiths for the December challenge, and participants can make something more plain if they like. The idea is for the bloggers to get as many of their readers as possible involved in the challenge, in the hopes that the most money can be raised for Save the Children in a festive way.
The writers all left the Blogger’s Tea with the feeling that they could make a difference, reach out to their core audience, and ask for participation in a way where their readers would be able to create something and donate a small amount of money at the same time. Are you up to the challenge?
To donate directly to Save the Children, visit their website for the Make a Donation tab.